Cow Corner

Piers Morgan clashes with Brian Moore over ‘Captain Weasel’ jibe

Cow Corner

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It is said that empty vessels make the most noise.

To many Twitter users, sacked CNN presenter Piers Morgan is the biggest empty vessel going, as close as you are likely to get to a celebrity troll on the social network.

As former editor of a tabloid newspaper in the form of The Daily Mirror, old habits clearly die hard.

Morgan has an opinion on lots of things, even when his thoughts seem to be a bit wayward. Not that these pages are complaining. As far as Cow Corner is concerned, blokes like Morgan are gold.

With 4.2 million followers on Twitter, people are obviously interested in what he has to say so Morgan can point out his views are not irrelevant. In this case, the one analysing the much-maligned England cricket captain Alistair Cook, he certainly has a valid point.

His latest tête-à-tête on Twitter ended up with a verbal dust-up with Brian 'Pitbull' Moore, the former England rugby player.

You can listen to the whole discussion here:

Moore finds himself on Talksport these days, where he is paid to offer his opinion on all things sport.

The duo came together with as much ferocity as two opposing scrums over Cook's somewhat dodgy position as England Test captain. The focus centred on his ongoing struggles with the bat.

What started out on Twitter quickly boiled over into a phone-in debate on Talksport with Morgan denying claims he was trying to unsettle Cook.

Morgan had called Cook "Captain Weasel" on Twitter to prompt a feverish response led by Moore.

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Moore - a veteran England and British Lions rugby player of 64 caps and a lawyer to trade - accused Morgan of being hell-bent on forcing Cook out of the job while having his friend, the axed Kevin Pietersen, reinstated to the side.

"Your campaign to get Pietersen back in the team was not helpful to the England cause. And allied to that the denigration of several players - Cook, [Stuart] Broad and [Matt] Prior included - is also not helpful," said Moore.

Morgan is a long-term critic of Cook. He responded: "I'm sorry but the way that they are denigrating English cricket with these woeful performances is, I would argue, slightly more unhelpful than me lambasting them on Twitter."

Piers Morgan wades back into KP-ECB row, slams Cook

Pietersen is England's highest run scorer in all forms of the game, but was chopped from the Test scene despite being top scorer in England's embarrassing 5-0 loss to Australia in the Ashes.

"He's 34-years-old, six years younger than Sachin Tendulkar when he retired from Test cricket and nearly four years younger than Jacques Kallis when he retired," commented Morgan.

"He is perfectly physically fit and remains the most flamboyant, attacking and talented batsman in the country. "It is an absolute disgrace to me that Kevin Pietersen has been fired from the English team."

Morgan insisted England players had plotted against Pietersen, but Moore asked why anybody should believe him when he had published fake photos of British soldiers abusing an Iraqi in 2004 when he was Mirror editor?

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Morgan was sacked after that incident, but stood by his judgement when pressed by Moore, who later admitted regret in bringing it up during their conversation.

Is Moore or Morgan right? Well, both of them have valid points. And both came out of their debate not really any worse for wear. It probably ended in a honourable draw.

The facts of the matter are this: Cook has not made a century in 27 innings. He produced only 10 and 22 in the second Test at Lord's as England collapsed to 223 in losing by 95 runs.

They trail 1-0 in the five Test series.

And Morgan is not the only critic of Cook. Former skippers Michael Vaughan and Alex Stewart also want him dropped.

On Cook's captaincy, Morgan said he "couldn't lead a Morris Dance, let alone a cricket team".

Cook continues, much to Morgan's chagrin.

But then again do you bring back what could be a divisive element in the form of KP when you are trying to build unity? It is a moot point. And one with no straightforward answer.

"I'd love to play for England again, but we might to have for a few things to change before that could possibly happen," said Pietersen.

You wouldn't stick your mortgage on it happening.

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